We report on a rare and unusual legal development – a decrease in court fees.
The Office of the Public Guardian has released the change to registration fees for both LPAs and EPAs as of 1st October 2013. The fee is now £110 for both LPAs and EPAs. This represents a decrease on the previous fees.
Enduring Powers that were drafted pre-2007 only need to be registered if the person who made the document is losing or has lost mental capacity. This registration has to be dealt with by one of the appointed Attorneys. It is common that the person who made the EPA specifies within the document that the Attorney obtain confirmation of capacity from a doctor. It would be best practise for the Attorney to secure this evidence in any event.
All Lasting Powers of Attorney need to be registered before they can be used by the Attorney, regardless of mental capacity i.e. this applies to physical incapacity as well as mental. The registration can be dealt with by either the person who made the document or one of the Attorneys.
EPAs can no longer be made (having been replaced by LPAs), but any existing EPA is still valid. There is of course no guarantee that a Power of Attorney will need to be used in the future. However, if a Power is not put in place prior to capacity becoming lost, there is no other alternative than to apply to the Court of Protection. The Court will make the decision as to who should act for you and conduct your finances in your best interests. The Court appoints a Deputy to act. It is likely to be a family member, but it is a long drawn out process and it is expensive.
It’s increasingly common for people to have an LPA drafted at the time they update their Wills. If you would like us to make your Will and prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney for you we can offer a discount on the usual price.